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Currency devalued

Gary Crooks (Nov. 24) provided a panoramic view of possible government responses to present economic challenges. He walked readers through the impact of possible spending changes on taxpayers having taxable income.

Then, he stated that taxpayers were getting a bargain for the payroll taxes they paid. “You should know that the average Medicare beneficiary covers about one-third of his or her health care bills with the payroll taxes they’ve paid over a lifetime.”

I understand his statement was made in reference to Medicare recipients. How does this play out with Social Security benefits?

My first job for which payroll taxes were withheld was in 1951. Each 1951 dollar withheld from my pay in 1951 equals $8.98 in 2013 dollars. Devaluation of the U.S. dollar reflects a worldwide game governments play as they amass huge debts and then devalue currencies to soften the impact of overspending.

We can’t turn back the clock, or I would have made retirement plans to offset devaluation of the U.S. dollar. Thankfully, Social Security does receive a cost-of-living adjustment.

Bob Launhardt

Pinehurst, Idaho


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